Abstract

40Ar/39Ar thermochronometry from the Clachnacudainn complex indicates that the thermal evolution of the complex was controlled primarily by the intrusion of granitoid plutons in mid- and Late Cretaceous times. Hornblendes from the eastern part of the complex cooled below their Ar closure temperature (ca. 500°C) shortly after intrusion of the mid-Cretaceous plutons; those from the western part of the complex have latest Cretaceous cooling dates, indicating cooling of these hornblendes after intrusion of the leucogranite plutons at ca. 71 Ma. Micas from the southern Clachnacudainn complex exhibit a pattern of progressive cooling toward lower structural levels, where Late Cretaceous and younger intrusions occur. The occurrence of Late Cretaceous – Paleocene mica cooling dates in both the hanging wall and footwall of the Standfast Creek fault refutes the hypothesis that there has been significant Tertiary extensional exhumation of the Clachnacudainn complex along the Standfast Creek fault. Furthermore, the widespread distribution of Late Cretaceous – Paleocene mica cooling ages suggests that an important volume of Late Cretaceous – early Tertiary intrusive rocks must be present in the subsurface beneath the Clachnacudainn complex.

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